For the better part of a decade, Hannah Milman, Martha Stewart Living holiday and crafts editor, has been coming up with great ideas for decorating with flowers. She is particularly adept at creating unusual arrangements such as this one, which combines leaves like magnolia with pink and deep-red -- almost black -- roses for an elegant and aromatic presentation.
Tools and Materials
- Vase or container
- Bleach-and-water solution
- Flower frog (optional)
- Floral preservative
- Sharp knife or bypass pruners
- Rose dethorner or sharp blade
Arranging Roses How-To
1. Start with a very clean vase scrubbed with a solution of bleach and water to eliminate any surface bacteria. For shorter arrangements in shallow containers, place a flower frog at the base of the container; for small arrangements, mugs or small flower pots make suitable containers. If you want to use a container that is porous, valuable, or has a drainage hole in the bottom and is therefore unsuitable for holding water, place another water-safe container inside it. A yogurt container or old mayonnaise jar will do.
2. Fill your container with cold water, and add a floral preservative. Hold the roses next to the container to determine how much of the stems you will need to trim. Remove any discolored petals and any foliage that will fall below the waterline. (Removing thorns is optional. If you choose to remove them, keep in mind that this will shorten the life of the bloom. To remove them, use a rose dethorner or sharp blade to pare the thorns away from the stems. Work from the top of the stem down.)
3. Arrange the roses, adding greenery for texture. Cedar works wonderfully with roses; the contrasting textures and complementary aromas are wonderful together. Go into your garden to clip branches from an evergreen plant. Taking tips from a tree or bush will not hurt it. Once you've completed your arrangement, be sure to check it and add fresh water daily.